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How did you choose your dog?

Did you specifically want a mutt?

Note: Read more to learn how you can win a free copy of my 2014 Mutt Calendar. You can also purchase a calendar for $14.99 plus shipping here.

I’m curious to hear from all of you about why and how you chose your dogs. There are so many different ways to go about choosing a dog.

Here’s what I’m wondering:

1. Did you specifically choose a mixed-breed dog? (Or a purebred dog?) Or didn’t it matter to you?

2. What other factors besides “breed” played a role in your decision? For example: Cost, health of the dog, temperament, size, etc.

Why did you choose to adopt a mutt?

How I chose my mutt

When I adopted my Lab mix Ace, I knew I wanted to adopt a dog in need of a home. I was not interested in going to a breeder at the time, mostly for cost reasons. It was also a moral issue for me to help a dog in need – but not necessarily a mutt.

I ended up with a mutt because mutts are just more common. I would’ve adopted a purebred dog if the right dog had come along. I inquired about a husky, but the humane society would not allow any huskies to go to homes with cats at that time.

I considered a handful of mixed-breed dogs, and most of the shelters and rescue groups did not return my emails or phone calls. One of the reasons Ace worked out is because his previous owner returned my calls and patiently told me lots of details about my future dog.

I had strict requirements – must be a dog that can go running, must be cat and dog friendly, must be kennel trained and housebroken. Luckily, obedience skills were a non-issue for me. I figured I would be able to teach those. 🙂

It all worked out perfectly. Ace became my running buddy. My writing dog. My heart dog.

We’ve had many adventures – camping in negative temps, tubing on Minnesota lakes, backpacking in Western North Dakota. Not only was my dog in our wedding, but he was there when Josh proposed along Lake Superior.

Ace is quite possibly my “once in a lifetime dog,” although I hope there can be several of those.

How about the rest of you?

Did you specifically choose a mixed-breed dog or a purebred dog? Or didn’t it matter?

Leave a comment if you’d like a chance to win a copy of my 2014 mutt dog calendar. I’ll choose a winner at random and announce it Friday here on this post. Edit: Congrats to Jan. You are the winner of a free mutt calendar!


Wednesday 4th of December 2013

I chose Stanley (chihuahua) because I saw his picture on Facebook from our local pound. He had been in there for 5 months and his time was up. So lucky because he and my other chi are best buddies. I wasn't about to let him live alone in a kennel for that long just to be put down. He is absolutely the best dog ever. I am in love!!!

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 4th of December 2013

So glad everything worked out!

Renchan Li

Wednesday 4th of December 2013

This topic "How did you choose your dog?" caught my eyes when reading Linday's blog email, so I click the link and read every comments with great interest. I always like to learn how people find their "loves" or their "broken loves", without digging into their privacy. I adopted my female Rottie (then named Mona and now named Seven), then 1.5 years old in January 2013. I got more than I was bargaining for: She is healthy, right sized (now 2-year 4-month old, 77 lb.), able to do outdoor activities (jogging, swimming in calm ocean water, hiking, backpacking; but no tennis or yoga yet) with me. She is not aggressive, no-leash pulling, no object guarding, quickly learning to be friendly to people and other dogs, calm in the situation when no activity needed.

Three weeks before I found my female Rottie at the San Diego County Animal Control Service shelter-Linda Vista facility in January 2013, I had had no experience with any animals, including the dogs; I had only these three things in mind: To find out why people say that dogs are human's best friend (and why people say dogs ask little but give a lot.), a healthy breed, and a female dog that I would name her Seven (because I was not comfortable seeing the male dog making the territory marking; and Seven of Nine is my favorite character: A human Borg, a cybernetic organisms species ). I didn't really know what I would get into in taking care a dog. I only learned the Rottweiler breed name from a 10-healthist dog breeds list from the internet search: The mutts is number one healthiest, and the Rottie is the number two.

A coinstance in my adopting Seven is: that she was one of the only two (one is a male Shar Pei Pointer mix) out of a total of six on my list after my 30-minute looking around the kennels; she immediately sat next to my foot when we were first introduced (she had stayed in the dark and didn't bother to approach me when I was looking around the kennels.) The other, the male Shar Pei Pointer mix, didn't pay much attention to me and was busy at making his territory marks when we were intro ducted. An amazing thing is that Seven appeared in Ward #1, Kennel #7. Thanks for the topic.

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 4th of December 2013

Great story! Thank you so much for sharing this. You've done such a great job with Seven.


Friday 22nd of November 2013

Like you, we didn't want to go to a breeder because of cost, but also lack of knowledge of breeding practices to want to go through that route at this stage.

We were wanting to adopt a small or medium dog that is in the list of approved dogs our housing authority had. But small dogs were rare in shelters where we were looking. The SPCA only had two mini schnauzers and while we didn't know what we want (no breed preference), we knew what we don't want - schnauzers. LOL

Most shelters didn't respond or took a longer time to arrange meetups because the dogs are in foster care rather than at the shelter itself. And they would rather us pick the dog from pictures before arranging the meetup. That was difficult to me since all the local mongrel dogs look the same to me.

In the end, we went the shelter that responded the fastest and invited us down to look at the dogs they had with no delay time. All they had were unapproved mutts, local mongrels. The shelter environment with so many dogs and people was over-whelming and we would have left, if not for the leader who caught us before we left and suggested we see Donna, on the spur of the moment.

She seemed smart and trainable. It didn't hit us on the head that we would take this dog home, but my husband thought we should try because if we didn't we probably may just give up and end up not picking any dog given all the hassles of trying to find a dog already.


Wednesday 20th of November 2013

We have Airedale and Cairn Terriers and knew those were the exact breeds we wanted and that we preferred puppies. We watched rescues in our area when we decided it was time for both dogs but just weren't seeing many puppies or very young dogs so we ended up going to breeders for both. Our Airedale has dysplasia in in his left hip which we knew was a risk. We try to see as it's good we got him and were willing to get him the necessary care rather than for him be with somebody who would have let him spend his life suffering.

When it came to actually picking them from the breeders, our Airedale was the sweetest one of the bunch and the breeder actually said he would have been his pick. Our Cairn, was the friendliest and also the most excited to meet us. Her tail went crazy when our Airedale came near so we knew she was perfect for us.

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 20th of November 2013

Awww. There are three cairn terriers in my family owned by my grandpa and my uncle. Love those dogs! Two are from breeders and one is from a rescue group that happened to have about five cairns at that time.


Tuesday 19th of November 2013

After years of wanting a dog, but not being home enough as both of us work full time, and had over an hour commute to work, my husband started working from home. We started looking more seriously and had our choice narrowed down to a medium-size, like a Wheaton Terrier (we'd call him Will :)). We even went to a Wheaton day in the park! I never had a dog before and used to be terrified of them, so definitely "not a big dog".

To get more information on living with a dog, what to expect, etc., we chatted with a new acquaintance who was (is) a German Shepherd Dog breeder. He and his wife invited us over to their place to chat and they just happened to have a few 10-week old puppies running around that he'd held back to evaluate for possibly keeping himself, or training as protection dogs ... And no, we didn't bring one home that day, but we did about a week later, "on trial". That was five years ago, and she's still with us. The breeder has become a good friend, and when he couldn't use one of his girls for breeding (x-rays show that she'll have arthritis when she's older), he asked if we would take her, so now we have two GSDs.

Lindsay Stordahl

Tuesday 19th of November 2013

Awww. Such a perfect example of how going to a breeder is often the right choice. The German shepherd breed is definitely one of my favorites.